Brainstorming For Fresh Event Ideas?
Last year, ChamberMaster, alongside partner Startup Local, sponsored its inaugural “Chamber Innovation Contest.” Chambers of Commerce across North America were challenged to enter their most innovative program idea, competing for the $1000 grand prize.
Submissions were judged on creativity, community impact, and chamber value. The field was narrowed to five finalists who executed creative (and effective) programs that injected new life and energy into their organizations and their communities.
One of the Finalists for the 2014 Chamber Innovation Award was the Prospect Area Chamber of Commerce, located in central Kentucky.
Their idea? Kicking Up Your Heels for a Win-Win-Win: Dancing with Prospect Stars!
"Dancing with The Stars" has been a big hit for ABC television. The Prospect Area Chamber of Commerce (PACC) of Prospect, KY decided to borrow a page from ABC and put its own spin on the popular idea by holding a very unique event called "Dancing with Prospect Stars." A select group of "Stars" was selected and given professional dance instruction along with costuming, hair, and make-up assistance. Each "Star" then performed on behalf of a local charity.
Community leaders promoted the event and helped raise money for the charities involved. Local businesses, chamber members, and other individuals throughout the community were invited to an evening of glamour, beginning with "Taste of Prospect" where PACC-member restaurant/caterers were on hand with samples of their most savory dishes. The event was so successful, it was expanded to be even larger in scope the next year, including a live auction. They are already actively promoting the 2016 event.
How was it a win-win-win? Member restaurants and caterers won through great exposure. Local charities won by increasing awareness and monetary donations. And PACC won by growing its member base due to increased exposure through community buzz in local media.
"The members of PACC truly stepped up and donated their services with professional lighting, sound, photography, videography, floral and decorating. We couldn’t have asked for a better turnout. It was a great evening." Kathy Jacobs, Executive Director PACC.
The way in which chambers engage and retain members has changed, making it essential to “think outside the box.” As demonstrated by PACC, with a little imagination, you can put on an event or promotion members will talk about for years to come!
Keep an eye out for details on the 2015 Chamber Innovation Award competition (coming soon) and win $1500 for your chamber!